Skip to Main Content

How to use the Curriculum

Our curriculum uses adult learning methods to maximize the value of time spent learning about core topics in outpatient pediatrics. We have developed modules or "Case Studies" on dozens of topics. Each module can be used as a guide for small group discussions, large group discussions, self-study, resource at the point of care, etc.

At our own residency program, we have had success with the following model for both in-person and video-conferenced group discussions. Trainees and faculty read the Primary References for each module prior to conference attendance. Faculty review the "answer key" contained in the moderator's version, which contains suggested answers to all questions posed, teaching pearls, and suggestions for group exercises to reinforce key points. Advance preparation minimizes the amount of didactic information to be covered during conference and enable vigorous discussion of the questions posed in the case studies. We do not make the "answer key" available to trainees before the session unless a particular trainee is designated as the discussion moderator.

Designated trainees or faculty moderate the discussion during each conference session. When pre-assigned to moderate the discussion, trainees receive a copy of the moderator's version in advance. All of our sessions fit into a 30-minute block, but may be condensed or expanded depending on the time available. We encourage our trainees serving as moderators to speak to faculty in advance of each session, and/or seek feedback afterwards, to review effective techniques for small group teaching.

Many of our case vignettes have characters with clever (or not-so-clever) names. Our hope is that these names remind you of the fun and joy in caring for children and offer some balance to the serious work we all do in medicine. We suspect that for many people, the “fun” parts of our job were key reasons for selecting pediatrics as a profession. We are different in that way than other medical specialties! In selecting names, we try to avoid causing offense or suggesting that laughter is appropriate around certain particularly emotionally-laden topics (e.g., child abuse). We know there will always be more work to do towards getting this right. If you see places we’ve fallen short regarding name selection, or any other aspect of the curriculum, please let us know! In addition to keen attention from our authors, comments from subscribers also help to make the curriculum better year after year.

Questions or comments about the curriculum in general should be sent via email to or